Since being diagnosed with lung cancer I’ve stumbled across an interesting anomaly. Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer in America, yet we rarely hear about it and certainly not to the extent we are made aware of breast cancer. (This is not to disparage the publicity breast cancer receives. Research on one type of cancer benefits all types.)
I suspect that the reason for this anomaly is that in the public’s mind lung cancer is associated with a “sin:” smoking. There is still a corner of our psyche that associates smoking with “loose” women and men who hang around pool halls and saloons. Therefore, there is a subconscious tendency to see lung cancer as God’s punishment for a sinful life. (Up until seventeen years ago I burned between two and three packs of cigarettes a day. However, we just had a member of our church die from lung cancer and he’d never smoked a single cigarette. The simple fact is that if you live long enough the chances are that you are going to come down with some form of cancer.)
Along the same lines, there was an article in today’s Times about a new “problem” of women who are addicted to porn. The religious right has been carrying on about men addicted to porn for some time. (“Have you lost your husband to porn?” reads one banner on a religious website.) Of course, no mention is ever made of men who are addicted to televised sports, especially profession football whose violence produces injuries that could well last a lifetime. But then, our prudish psyches still look askance at “s-e-x” as if it’s still as sinful as it was during the Victorian Era.
The point is that by focusing the public’s attention on bush-league sins that probably aren’t even sins, attention is diverted from the big sins such as wars of aggression, torture, the felons running Wall Street, a totally corrupted Congress, poverty and unemployment, the healthcare reform scam and the three running sores on liberty’s face: the Beltway, Wall Street and the Pentagon.
There are four moral absolutes that are necessary for a decent society: do not kill; do not steal; do not lie; do not exploit.
By those criteria, we are indeed an indecent society, and it’s not because some chick flashes her pussy.